“We are helpers!”
Our little family says this family theme nearly every day. We say it with our kids during family night, or whenever our kids (or ourselves) need a reminder of who we are as a family.
And who are we? Well, we are helpers. This gentle reminder encourages us to work together as a family. To lift where we can. To help and love and reach those around us. For us, it’s an essential part of our family.
We are helpers. Our family theme guides our decisions, helps us bond, and creates a sense of togetherness and unity.
Creating a family theme and motto is an opportunity to define your family values and vision. It provides a way for the whole family to share their identity.
How a family theme can benefit your family:
A family theme is a way to understand your relationships and give them meaning. It’s a quick reminder of who you are and what your values are. A family theme can help your family to:
- strengthen and build family bonds.
- define values and goals.
- offer a sense of security, communication, and cooperation as a family.
- guide decision making.
What is the difference between a family theme and motto?
Nothing! A family motto is another name for a family theme. A good family theme or motto is short, meaningful, and evokes thought and action.
Mottos usually say it best in less than eight words. However, this is your family theme. You can make it be whatever you’d like!
How can you choose a family theme?
Choosing a family theme can feel intimidating. It’s hard to pick a statement that defines who you are as a family, what is important to family members, and where your values come from. A family theme will help ground your identity in a meaningful way.
Although it might feel scary to define your entire family by one statement, keep in mind that you get to choose what you family theme is. And you can always change that family theme later! No one has ever said that you can’t change a family theme if your original no longer fits your family.
Here is an easy way to create your own family theme:
1. Write down your family values
Family themes are a powerful way to remind yourselves of your family values. Do you value adventure? Hard work? Resilience? Kindness?Do you want each family member to feel lifted or important?
Write out a list of important values for your family. Include anything that you can think of. You should have at least 10-15 values listed when you finish this list of values.
2. Narrow down your list of Values
Together as a family, go over the list of values you created. Next, narrow that list down to your top 5 values. This might feel hard. Values are valuable for a reason. Each value you listed is probably important to you and your family. But, it’s hard to create a family motto based on a giant list of values. Choose your favorite five values.
3. Consider what you want your children to remember
Your family theme is something that your family will say over and over again. It will become something that your children memorize. They will say it with you. Your kids will remember it when they are at school or activities. They will also hear it in their heads when faced with difficult situations. It will follow them to college and beyond.
What do you want your children to value and remember above all other things?
4. Write out several themes
Once you have chosen your top 5 family values, it’s time to put one or more of those values into a family motto. Write out several themes. Get those creative juices going! You can do it! You can even keep each family theme short and sweet.
Once you have at least three family themes written out, discuss with your family each family theme.
5. Choose your family theme
You’ve done the work to craft a family theme. Don’t get bogged down trying to make the perfect theme. Choose your favorite of the three family themes. This is your family motto!
How to use family themes in family life:
1.Talk about your family theme regularly! It’s not very helpful to choose a family theme and then never discuss it again.
2. Find a time every day to quote your family theme. Maybe right before bed, or before your kids head off to school in the morning.
Need more tips for morning routines? Read: Create a Positive Morning Routine for Kids.
3. Write your family theme down and display it around your home. Our kids have our family theme on a small card inside their pencil boxes at school. It’s also hung in our home. I love the idea of creating a custom sign like this to display your family theme in your home.
4. If you have children who are interested in art, ask them to create something inspired by the theme
5. Live it! You kids know when you are not genuine. If your family theme is about having adventures, and you don’t prioritize adventures, that family theme won’t mean much to your kids. Live your family motto. Make it a part of who you are!
Do you need more help creating a family theme? Purchase our Family Culture Kit! It helps you walk through the process we discussed above!